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Ex-Gov. An indicted on sexual offense charges

Former South Chungcheong Province Gov. An Hee-jung was indicted Wednesday without physical detention on charges that he sexually assaulted his secretary multiple times last year.

The Seoul Western District Prosecutors’ Office said An, 54, has been charged with sexual intercourse and harassment by abuse of occupational authority.

An is accused of forcing his former secretary, Kim Ji-eun, to have sex with him four times and also molesting her many times between July last year and February this year in Seoul and while on overseas business trips. 

Former Gov. An Hee-jung (Yonhap)
Former Gov. An Hee-jung (Yonhap)

Prosecutors began to investigate him after Kim made the revelation in a TV news interview early last month.

Prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for An twice in late March and early this month. But the court turned them all down, citing a low risk of him fleeing or destroying evidence. 

An also faced another complaint filed by a research staff member from a think tank, who alleged she was sexually abused by him. The prosecution said it excluded the latter complaint from the indictment as there was not enough proof to build a case due to inconsistency in testimonies.

The liberal politician, who was once considered a potential presidential candidate, has issued a public apology but has not admitted to the charges, insisting the relationship with Kim was consensual. He resigned as governor in the wake of the scandal. (Yonhap)